PREVIEW With the success of their BMX ode "Black Mags" ghost-riding beyond the Internet echo chamber, the Cool Kids are on a roll. After one single for Nick Catchdubs and A-Trak's Fool's Gold imprint and a year spent performing live, including 30 dates with M.I.A., the 10-cut Bake Sale EP comes courtesy of C.A.K.E. Recordings/Chocolate Industries, home or former home to such acts as Prefuse 73 and Lady Sovereign. It's slated to be followed by a proper album, When Fish Ride Bicycles, but right now the Cool Kids are back onstage, peddling or pedaling? their own blend of stripped-down hip-hop.
Though many latch onto the Chicago duo's 1980s fixation and look no further, the carefully casual drawl of 19-year-old Antoine Reed (Mikey Rocks) and the spare, angular beats of 23-year-old Evan Ingersoll (Chuck Inglish) owe as much to Spank Rock or the Neptunes as the Beastie Boys and Run-DMC. With its brassy, clanging drums and tightly reverbed vocals, it's no surprise that "88" has been snatched up by both HBO and NBA Live 08. If it's possible to be aggressively nerdy, this pair, who first met on MySpace, are doing it. On "What Up Man," lanky Mikey Rocks raps, "I can build a sandcastle without bringing a pail / And go catfish fishing and come up with a whale," while the rhythm track, built from Inglish's processed ticks, claps, and basses, chugs greasily along. From the uptempo, hi-trilling "Bassment Party" to the lethargic one-in-four boom of "Jingling" an off-the-cuff riff on the sound of keys in your pocket the Cool Kids make hip-hop akin to busting a wheelie. It looks pretty simple, but it's damned hard to do.
THE COOL KIDS Tues/3, 9 p.m., $18. Independent, 628 Divisadero, SF. (415) 771-1422 www.theindependentsf.com